CLEVELAND– A group of Cleveland councilmen is speaking out against the proposed closing of Collinwood High School on Cleveland’s east side.
Councilmen Mike Polensek, Kevin Conwell and Anthony Hairston were at a public meeting on Monday at Glenville High School on East 113th Street.
“This is just not about educational opportunities for our children, it’s what’s happening to our east side neighborhood and what’s the game plane for the east side. Is it more closure of buildings? Is it more disinvestment? It’s one thing for the banks to stick it to us as they did in 2006. It’s another thing for CMSD to do it to us, to disinvest in our neighborhoods,” Polensek said.
Earlier this month, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon released recommendations that would close aging facilities, those that underperform academically or do not have enough students enrolled. Those include kindergarten through eighth-grade schools Michael R. White, Case, Iowa-Maple and Willow, as well as these high schools: Jane Adams, Martin Luther King Jr. and Collinwood.
When it was built in 1926, Collinwood High School was one of the largest in the country and could accommodate 4,000 students. In 2019, its enrollment was 300.
Polensek said closing the high school will negatively impact education and the local economy by dooming preschools and elementary schools in the area.